You are now IN CONTRACT!
Here's a Step-by-Step Guide of what to expect during "Escrow" up until our targeted Close of Escrow (COE) date!
*Please note that a lot of these items may happen simultaneously, so the order may be different, depending on timing.
DON'T GIVE YOUR NOTICE TO YOUR LANDLORD YET!
If you're renting, do NOT give your notice YET! Once your loan (if you're getting a loan) has been approved and ALL contingencies have been removed, then it's usually safe to say that there should be no more surprises that would pop up to prevent you from buying this home. There are still a lot of things that need to happen, so we typically tell our Buyers to wait until after the appraisal and final loan conditions have been met, before giving their notice to their landlord (just in case).
Step 1 - Send Initial Deposit to your EO
We will email you the Escrow Officer, aka "EO's" info. Please write a check or send a wire transfer within 3 days AFTER the "acceptance date" of your offer. The amount is 3% of the purchase price. You can confirm the amount with your "EO" and communicate how they/you would like to get your deposit to them.
Where to send your initial deposit
You can drop off a personal check to your EO, any of their locations, or the EO can send a courier to pick up from your home, work, or location of your choosing. When sending a wire transfer, ALWAYS CONFIRM your escrow account number via phone & personally CALL your EO due to wire fraud & hacking.
Step 2 - Talk to your Loan Officer
Unless you are buying "all-cash", your Loan Officer, aka "LO" should be reaching out to you within 3 days to let you know what they need from you for a loan approval. Even if you are "PRE"approved, now you need to get "Approved". Promptly sign & provide any documents requested by your LO or you could possibly delay COE. If you are pulling funds from 401k, retirement, receiving gift funds, talk to your LO NOW to find out if/when/how they would like the funds transferred.
Securing a Home Loan
This step will take a majority of the escrow period to complete, and will transpire for several weeks until we are "clear to close". Your "LO" will send you initial disclosures for signature, order the appraisal, ask for updated documents, and will review everything with a fine-toothed comb. Read and ask your LO questions, but note that A LOT OF THESE NUMBERS ARE "ESTIMATES" and are NOT your final loan numbers. Relax. This is ALL normal.
Step 3 - Schedule A Home Inspection (SKIP IF WAIVED)
(SKIP IF WAIVED) It is highly advised that you inspect the home you are purchasing. If the seller hasn't provided inspections, or you wish to do further inspections in addition to what has already been provided by the seller, we will schedule and will let you know once these have been scheduled, in case you would like to attend (you are not required). We can negotiate any items discovered, but the seller is not required to agree. We generally always recommend at least a Termite/Pest Inspection, Roof Inspection, and a General Home Inspection which covers
heating, plumbing, electrical, foundation, etc. You are responsible for paying the inspection company directly, and will receive a copy of the report 1-2 days after the inspection. Please let us know which inspections you would like us to order.
Sample Termite, Home, and Roof Inspection
Click here to see a sample home, termite/pest, and roof inspection. The "wood destroying pest" inspection has a diagram with letters/numbers corresponding to the damage and where in the house it was found. Example 1A on the diagram shows anywhere Item 1A was found. The roof and termite inspections will contain the estimated cost to correct any items (if you were to hire the company who performed the inspection). You may also shop around for others who can do the work for less or DIY.
Step 4 - Schedule A Home Appraisal
The lender may ask you for a credit card and/or to pay the fee upfront so they can order the home appraisal. You are not required to attend. Your LO should order this within the first 5 days, and you should receive it back within the first 10-14 days. If your appraisal has not been ordered within a few days, follow up with your LO on the status.
Reviewing of Disclosures
If you have not already reviewed the disclosures, now is the time to do it. By law, the Seller is required to disclose certain information about the property you are about to buy. You will receive documents from me throughout the transaction, asking for your signature. Please read, review, and sign. I've attached an example of a disclosure package, to give you an idea what types of documents you can expect to see.
Step 5 - Purchase Homeowners Insurance
Contact your LO with any questions, as the lender typically requires you to have homeowners insurance, minimum coverage limits, and any other guidelines and requirements, etc. If you have car insurance, renter's insurance, you can usually ask your current insurance carrier for a quote for a homeowners insurance.
Step 6 - Possibly Re-Negotiate with the Seller
Remember, the Seller is NOT obligated to agree or accept... BUT, if the appraisal comes in below purchase price, and there are glaring repairs on NEW inspections we didn't know about, you might want to ask the Seller to fix it, pay for it.. NOW is the time. You may also ask the Seller to give you a credit or lower the price in exchange for you to accept the item as-is and handle it yourself after close of escrow.
Step 7 - Contingency Removal
We're 3/4 of the way there! Once your loan has been "approved", the appraisal/inspections/repairs have been completed, and the Seller has agreed to re-negotiate (if any), this is the time that you will need to remove ALL your contingencies. NO more backing out after this point, or else you could risk you losing your deposit! Give your notice to your landlord if you're renting!
Step 8 - Sign Loan Documents
Once you have removed all contingencies and finalized your loan, your LO will prepare your loan documents for WET signature with a notary. Ask your LO and EO for an "estimated statement" that detail all the costs entailed with purchasing a home. Your EO will schedule your signing and you can bring a cashier's check or wire the funds shortly thereafter, but always ask your EO and LO before moving money around.
Step 9 - Fund The Loan
After signing, there is typically very little action needed from you or I during this time.. so we sit and hang tight! The EO and LO will work together to review your signed loan documents, meet certain funding conditions, and they will get the bank to deposit your loan funds into escrow for the purchase!
Schedule Utilities Transfer
Schedule the transfer date to be COE or the day following COE. Check with the city/county utility companies so you can start water, sewer/garbage, PG&E. and any other utilities you would like to schedule/get started, ie. cable, internet, home security, etc. FEEL FREE TO ASK. US FOR REFERRALS!
Walk-thru of the Home
Once we are near the closing date, and seller's items (if any) have been removed, you should do a walk-thru to make sure the home is in the same condition as when you first saw the home. Feel free to test EVERYTHING, but note; this is NOT a checklist for repairs. We may also do the final walkthrough after closing and once we have keys.
Step 10 - Recording AKA Closing!
Once your loan has funded, escrow will send someone to the county recorder's office to physically record the grant deed and transfer ownership of the property. Once we receive confirmation of recording, it is finished! Congratulations!! We are now closed and YOU are the owner! I will call you to deliver the good news!
When Do We Get Keys?
I will coordinate the transfer of keys with the Seller and/or Listing Agent following confirmation of recording. I will contact you to let you know when and where we can meet for keys and we can take your infamous "SOLD" photo! We might also ask you for a video testimonial, so be ready!
FREE Moving Truck?!!
Of course! Our truck is available for you to use, FREE of charge, for TWO days, on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please contact Marc Costales to reserve the truck as soon as you think you would want to borrow it and he will provide the info. Pick up is at our Fremont office.
Stay in touch!
We believe that the end of the transaction is simply the beginning of our new relationship! Please feel free to reach out anytime, for anything! We will check in from time-to-time, but if you have questions, need to refinance, remodel, or know of anyone else looking to buy or sell, please feel free to reach out anytime!